Staying active all season long on your league’s waiver wire can be the difference between a successful, enjoyable, profitable season and one that’s not. As we approach the All-Star break, many teams in your fantasy baseball leagues may have already bailed (an unfortunate reality for most of us) which means there’s even less competition for productive replacement players.
If your team is in need of an outfielder who can provide a three-category spark to your offense than look no further than Quintin Berry of the Detroit Tigers. Berry has been a mainstay near the top of the Tigers lineup since being called up to the majors in late May and producing nicely for savvy fantasy owners who picked him up.
In nine games in the month of May, Berry hit .333 (13-for-39) with nine runs scored and five stolen bases. His 15 strikeouts and .542 BABIP would normally but signs for concern but he followed up with a very productive month of June, too. In 20 starts (26 total games), he batted .293 (24-for-82) with a home run, 10 RBI, 15 runs and seven stolen bases. His 10 walks led to a nice .389 OBP, as well. Negatively, though, he struck out 20 times and another inflated BABIP of .377 could lead to some regression. Positively, Berry is 12-for-12 in stolen bases and projects to be a 50+ stolen base guy per 162 games played.
Berry is owned in just 25.1% of ESPN leagues, 12% of Yahoo! leagues and 19% of CBS leagues. Consistently getting at bats at the top of the potent Detroit Tigers lineup should lead to continued fantasy baseball success.
Here are some other fantasy baseball players worth a look who may still be available on your league’s waiver wire:
OF Norichika Aoki, Milwaukee Brewers: If you’re desperate for stolen bases, Aoki could help your team as much as Berry. Since June 8th, Aoki has gone 8-for-10 in stolen bases with a .263 (21-for-80) batting average with 12 runs scored and a .352 OBP. He’s owned in just 7.2% of ESPN leagues, 8% of Yahoo! leagues and 18% of CBS leagues.
1B/OF Carlos Lee, Houston Astros: I’m not suggesting you pick up Lee from waivers from what he’s done so far this season (.285/22/5/29/0) but for what numbers he might put up the rest of the way if he were to be traded to a contending team. He’s well-owned in ESPN (94%) and CBS (82%) leagues but only 49% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Keep an eye of trade talks and your league’s waivers until July 31st.
3B Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates: Alvarez produced a June 5×5 line of .262/16/7/20/0 and should be worth a look if you’re team is dealing with injuries or in need of some offensive pop. He’s been the #1 fantasy player on ESPN Player Rater over the last 15 days. The Pirates are hot as a team and Alvarez should continue to be in the mix for offensive success. I was surprised he was only owned in 55.1% of ESPN leagues, 33% of Yahoo! leagues and 56% of CBS leagues. Could Alvarez finally be providing the offensive numbers we’ve all been waiting years for him to produce? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
1B Ike Davis, New York Mets: Since June 9th (yes, I selected an arbitrary date bases on small sample size), Davis is hitting .333 (21-for-63) with six home runs, 24 RBI and 14 runs with a .730 SLG and a 1.133 OPS. His ownership numbers (ESPN 41.2%; Yahoo! 47%; CBS 69%) are on the rise and now may be the time to pick him up if you’re a believer.
RP Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs: Marmol seems to have won the role of closer back and he’s getting the job done. He’s gone 6-for-6 since June 15th with a 10:4 K:BB ratio over six innings pitched. He’s only owned in 54.8% of ESPN leagues, 53% of Yahoo! leagues and 43% of CBS leagues, so now would be the time to pick him up…if you have the stomach for the roller coaster ride he takes fantasy owners on with each outing.
1B/3B Wilson Betemit, Baltimore Orioles: If you’re digging deep for offense, look no further than what Betemit has done lately. Since May 30, he’s batting .394 (28-for-71) with five doubles, three home runs, eight RBI and 11 runs. He’s putting up surprisingly decent 5×5 numbers (.275/29/10/31/0) this season and with his multi-positional eligibility could be a nice addition in extremely deep or AL-only leagues. He’s only owned in 1.9% of ESPN leagues, 7% of Yahoo! leagues and14% of CBS leagues.
If Anthony Rizzo is available on the waiver wire of your fantasy baseball league at this point, here’s a suggestion. Give up on that league because everyone else in your league obviously already has.
NOTE: All statistics are through June 30th unless otherwise noted.